What would happen if the earth suddenly froze in its orbit around the sun?

Or if the world suddenly stopped rotating on its axis? Would we be flung into space?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If the earth were to stop spinning around the sun, half the Earth would be in daylight for half the year while the other side would be in darkness. The second half of the year it would be reversed. Temperature variations would be far more extreme then they are now. The side of the earth that had the sun would be much warmer – the side without the sun would be much colder. The temperature difference would affect the wind circulation too. The air would move from the equator to the north and south poles rather then in wind systems parallel to the equator as they are now.

    Another thing would happen is the sun's position in the sky.

    The sun would just have a seasonal motion up and down the sky towards the south due to the orbit of the Earth and its axial tilt. You would see the elevation of the Sun increase or decrease in the sky just as we now see the elevation of the Sun change from a single point on the Earth due to the Earth's daily rotation.

    As an example, say we live at 30 degrees North latitude. In the Summer, at a longitude where the Sun was exactly overhead, it would slide gradually to the horizon as Fall approached, but since the Sun has moved 90 degrees in its orbit, it would now be due west. As Winter approached, you would now be located on the dark side of the Earth. You would have to move to a longitude 180 degrees around the Earth to see the Sun 1/2 way up the sky because in the Winter, the Sun is 50 degrees south of its summer location in the sky.

    There would be other effects of the Earth's rotation slowing also. The magnetic field of the Earth is generated by a dynamo effect that involves its rotation. If the Earth stopped rotating, the magnetic field would no longer be regenerated and it would decay away to some low, residual value due to the very small component which is 'fossilized' in its iron-rich rocks. There would be no more 'northern lights' and the Van Allen radiation belts would probably vanish, as would our protection from cosmic rays and other high-energy particles. Losing this protection would cause serious health issues.

    The interesting thing is, Global Warming will likely, over time, cause the earth’s rotation to slow down or even stop altogether. But that will happen over hundreds of thousands of years.

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  • 5 years ago

    Anything not tied down (at the equator) would go flying into space at 22.5 degrees, at about 30.465 km/s, based on my calculations (but what do I know, I'm 13). This would be freakin' sick to watch, but utterly fatal to everything on Earth bigger than a small bacterium (I think).

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well, since gravity is the attraction of smaller bodies to larger bodies in space, I seriously doubt we'd be "flung into space". However if the Earth stopped orbiting the Sun, stopped rotating as well, I would think that daytime/nightime and the seasons would be things of the past and would almost certainly have some kind of profound effect on almost all living things on this planet.

    Source(s): Just out of my head.
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  • we would have no SEASONS, and if we werent rotating,one side would be in constant darkness,and the oceans in that part would freeze. in the other part( the constant light part) the oceasn would boil. we wouldnt be flung into space, though.

    in fact we would most likely fall into the sun first

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  • 1 decade ago

    If it stopped rotating on it's axis you would have all days on one side and all night on the other.

    If it stopped in it's orbit it would fall directly into the sun.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If the earth stopped rotating we would NOT be flung into space. Why should we? FYI the rotational force trying to fling us off the planet is small - and zero at the geographical north and south poles. If the earth froze in its orbit (but kept rotating on its axis) we would have night and day but no seasons. We would probably fall into the sun as the orbit is what counteracts the suns gravitational pull...

    Source(s): physics background (but not an expert!)
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  • 6 years ago

    http://youtu.be/xPA6Bbv4pLM

    Source(s): Youtube
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  • 1 decade ago

    If the Earth froze in it's orbit around the sun,

    the seasons would never change.

    If the Earth stopped rotating on it's axis we'd be stuck on the same day forever.( please God let it be Friday!!)

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  • 1 decade ago

    In either scenario you mention, the Earth would be totally shattered. You just don't *suddenly* stop the movement of so much mass without disastrous results.

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  • 1 decade ago

    we could be flung into space if there is no gravity when it happens.other wise one part of the earth will experience day and the other part night for eternity.we wont have seasons either.gosh then it will be sooo boring.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the temprature on the whole earth will be as it is the world would be still

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